Sex for One | Betty Dodson

Summary of: Sex for One: The Joy of Selfloving
By: Betty Dodson


Dive into the thought-provoking world of ‘Sex for One: The Joy of Selfloving’ by Betty Dodson. This book summary will guide you through the author’s journey from sexual repression to self-acceptance and empowerment. Discover the liberating power of masturbation and the importance of honest communication in fostering sexual satisfaction. Learn about Dodson’s groundbreaking Bodysex Workshops, which not only provided a safe space for women to explore their sexuality, but also shattered societal norms and taboos. The language is lucid and engaging, designed to captivate readers and simplifying complex notions that surround sexuality.

The Liberating Power of Masturbation

Betty Dodson’s journey to sexual liberation and intimacy through self-love and honest communication with partners is a testament to the power of masturbation. Growing up in a culture that shamed and denied female sexuality, Dodson believed her pleasure came solely from men. But her first marital experience left her unfulfilled and questioning her worth. It was only after divorce and a new relationship built on experimentation and conversation that she realized the true potential of masturbation to help us understand our desires and communicate them with others. Masturbation liberates us from sexual repression and allows us to build confidence and intimacy in all our relationships.

Liberating Female Sexuality

Artist Betty Dodson discovered the sexual repression prevalent in society after exhibiting her erotic artwork in the late 1960s. Women were more open to discussing sex than men, who projected a cool, masculine image. Dodson’s art shows led her to conclude that women needed to be the ones to usher in freedom of sexual expression. She discovered that patriarchy forcefully repressed female sexuality due to its threat to men’s dominance. Men were expected to have sexual prowess already, making them less willing to explore and learn. Women, on the other hand, gained sexual proficiency by practicing and learning what gave them pleasure through masturbation.

Reclaiming Female Sexuality

Betty Dodson’s journey to reclaiming the female psyche through art, communication, and sexual liberation.

Betty Dodson grew up believing that her genitals were deformed until she met Blake, who showed her soft-core porn magazines featuring diverse female genitalia. This led her to create a photography show called “Creating an Aesthetic for the Female Genitals.” It became a powerful source of inspiration for women, attracting over a thousand women to her presentation, and many women reported feeling empowered and confident afterward.

Through her involvement in consciousness-raising (CR) groups, Dodson realized the importance of communication among women in reversing the damage done to the female psyche. She started a women’s CR group and later joined another group of professional women interested in money and power. She believed that sexual liberation was necessary for economic power and hoped to start a dialogue about sex among career women who had sappy, romantic notions of sex.

Dodson’s sexual relationship with a woman named Laura led her to call herself a “heterosexual bisexual lesbian.” She taught the women in her group how to be sexually assertive and gave them masturbation tips, encouraging them to engage in self-love without guilt.

Dodson’s journey teaches us that when we share stories and information, we raise our sexual consciousness. Through art, communication, and sexual liberation, we can reclaim the female psyche.

Bodysex Workshops: A Groundbreaking Feminist Movement

In the early 1970s, Betty Dodson and Laura started the Bodysex Workshops – a holistic approach to female sexuality and masturbation. Initially centered around discussion and demonstration, the workshops became more intimate, with live masturbation, guided masturbation rituals, and even the carving of dildos from vegetables. The aim was to empower women with knowledge of their bodies and pleasure, reversing gender roles and addressing feminist concerns about sex. Through these workshops, Dodson created a groundbreaking feminist movement that inspired thousands of women across the country.

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